Prostate cancer is one of the most common types of cancer and the third leading cause of cancer death for American men. It’s a very serious disease, but with early diagnosis and treatment, the outcome for many men is positive.
Knowing the symptoms of prostate cancer and getting regular screenings is crucial for detecting cancer in its earliest stages. First, though, a brief lesson about the prostate gland, how it works, and the role of the male hormone, testosterone.
The prostate is a complex and important gland in male anatomy. In addition to influencing male reproduction, the prostate gland affects urination and bladder control. An enzyme produced in the prostate also combines with testosterone to manufacture an even stronger hormone called dihydrotestosterone (DHT). DHT is responsible for the onset of puberty and adult male characteristics such as body hair and a deepening voice.
The Importance of Testosterone
Testosterone is a chemical messenger that triggers many important bodily functions such as red cell production, bone density, muscle size and strength, and fertility. However, advancing age causes all types of changes, including shifts in body chemistry. Just as women experience menopause and decreasing levels of the female hormone estrogen, men may experience low energy, fatigue, difficulty focusing, and depression due to declining levels of testosterone.
Although men are often embarrassed to seek help and discuss such symptoms, a doctor can determine the cause and present possible treatment considerations. If low testosterone is the diagnosis, hormone replacement therapy is one option for restoring health and vitality. Hormone replacement therapy is not just for women experiencing menopause and the loss of estrogen; men with low testosterone can benefit as well!
Testosterone Replacement and Prostate Cancer
Another reason to consider hormone replacement therapy? Recent research reports that men with low levels who receive testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) have a lower incidence of prostate cancer. In prostate cancer cases diagnosed while receiving TRT, the cancer was often found to be less severe.
Symptoms of Prostate Cancer
Men, do you know the symptoms of prostate cancer? Women should recognize them, too, and remind the men in their lives to be vigilant. Because early stages of prostate cancer often do not produce symptoms, regular screenings, like the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test, are the first line of defense. It is only after prostate cancer has advanced that men may notice symptoms like difficulty urinating (such as slow or weak stream or the need to urinate frequently) or blood in the urine.
There are other illnesses that may cause urinary symptoms such as these, some of which are not as serious as cancer. However, never put off a visit to the doctor if you experience anything new or out of the ordinary. Even illnesses that are not cancer should be treated immediately for the best possible outcome.
Holistic Medicine in Sugar Land, Texas
Julia Ward, MD is medical director of Balanced Body Image, a medical spa in Sugar Land. Dr. Ward provides safe and effective bioidentical hormone replacement therapy for both men and women, and it’s her goal to improve health and prevent premature aging with natural and healthy alternatives, including bioidentical hormones.
Bioidentical hormones come from organic sources, such as plants, and are more readily recognized by your body as a helpful agent. Hormones that are synthetically produced in a lab are not a natural substitute for the chemicals your own body produces.
Find out more about men’s health issues, including low testosterone and bioidentical hormone replacement therapy. Call Balanced Body Image at 281.710.3380 and learn about healthy, productive aging.